After living in army accommodation for five years, Staff Sergeant Leanne Tupper, 35, longed for greater independence and a home she could call her own. A new posting to Aldershot in Hampshire provided the perfect opportunity and Leanne did not have to look far; she found a new development of homes, Bruneval Gardens by Barratt just minutes from her barracks. Her luck continued when she discovered that she could easily afford a stylish two-bedroom ground floor apartment there, thanks to heylo’s part-buy part-rent scheme, Home Reach.
Home Reach enables people to buy a share of a new-build home and pay monthly rent on the share they don’t own. You are eligible to buy a Home Reach property if your household’s income does not exceed £80,000 per year, or £90,000 in London, and you do not currently own a property. Buyers can purchase their new home with cash savings, or with a mortgage for which a deposit of at least 5% will be required. The buyer’s budget determines the size of the share they buy; they might decide to purchase a bigger share of a lower-priced or smaller home, or a smaller share of a larger one. Unlike traditional shared ownership schemes, Home Reach is made available by developers on homes for private sale which gives buyers a much wider choice.
Leanne comments: “I’d never heard of Home Reach until the sales team told me it was available on my apartment. It’s brilliant – the scheme is very straightforward and easy to understand, and I love the flexibility it gives me to buy more shares in my home in future.”
Leanne purchased a 50 per cent share of her apartment for £140,000 (full market price £280,000) and put down a deposit of £21,000, funded by her savings. She explains: “I’m paying £440 each month for my mortgage and around £350 for rent – that’s very affordable, it’s about a third less than I was paying in rent for army housing, and best of all it’s my own home.”
She adds: “I already own half of my apartment, and I definitely plan to buy more shares in time. It’s great to be able to do this at my own pace, when I can afford to do so.”
After moving in, Leanne is thrilled with her new home: “My flat is really lovely - the quality is fantastic and I’m enjoying it so much. I love having a spare bedroom where my family and friends can stay overnight.”
Becoming a homeowner has transformed Leanne’s lifestyle, as she explains: “I feel like I’ve got a whole new lease of life. Owning my apartment makes me feel much more secure, and has given me so much more independence. I’m much more settled and happier now which is great – I’m going to be posted here for at least three years, so I wanted to put down roots and step onto the ladder.”
She concludes: “Home Reach is a fantastic scheme and makes it so easy to buy a home. It’s a great option for people in the army and in fact anyone who thinks that home ownership is way beyond their reach.”